Something ate all the bee balm i got at the swap

kimmid(Southern NH)June 21, 2009

Anyone have any ideas what might have eaten them? I live in the middle of Manchester! Nothing else is touched from what i can see!!

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Oh, no, Kim!

Like nibbled off at ground level? Are the stems left lying there? Are the leaves eaten and the stems left? Or have they totally disappeared? I don't have much beebalm, but I have lots of things that eat my plants.

Cutworms will eat plants by cutting the stems off and then eating what has fallen to the ground or occassionally by climbing the stems and eating holes in the leaves. They are gray, tan, or brown worms that will be in the dirt within a few inches of the base of the plants buried in the first couple of inches down. If you dig them up they curl up. I just squish them and then make a collar out of a plastic cup or other tube shaped plastic (a ring cut from a soda or milk bottle, a yogurt container with the bottom cut out, etc.) and place that around the plant, buried a quarter or half inch.

You might have rabbits or groundhogs (woodchucks) since your yard backs up to a scrubby area and a park. You can send one of your sons over the banking to see if he can find any holes. I don't know how to get rid of them in the city other than with woodchuck bombs that you get at the hardware store or leaving your dog outside with a long enough leash so that he can protect the yard. (We use a 22 to get rid of the woodchucks - 3 just this weekend, and my broccoli are now just quarter inch tall stubs.) You could also check with your neighbors to see if they have had any problems with their garden or seen any critters.

If there are still roots, there is hope. I'd look for cutworms and then put a collar around what's left - they may resprout, since beebalm is pretty vigorous.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:03PM
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kimmid(Southern NH)

Hey Barb!! No just the leaves are gone. There is about 6-7 inches of stalks.. and they were there yesterday. LOL Nothing else is gone though!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:48PM
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Hey, Kim -
Sounds like what some of my annual poppies look like - all the leaves eaten off the stem, and that was thanks to the woodchucks, so I'd not be surprised if you have a woodchuck living down in the area over your bank. They love and will totally eat your broccoli and other cabbage family relative, and they also like peas and beans. I've also seen them eat other veggie plants like tomatoes. However, due to your high raised beds the veggies *may* be safe.

The dog, a wire fence buried a foot or more in the dirt, or finding the holes and using a woodchuck bomb (fill in all holes except the one to put the bomb down, and then backfill the last hole after inserting the bomb) are your best choices if you don't want things eaten. There are plants that seems to be more woodchuck resisitant - see EGO's post on woodchucks' favorite foods to see what to avoid.

Isn't gardening fun?! Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:24PM
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kimmid(Southern NH)

That is what it is.. i came in to tell you i saw the darn thing!! It is a good size one.. oh nice.. my son just came in and said there are two!! Damn. Our dog is afraid of mice, literally. I dont see her protecting my veggies. I have no means to get a fence up and it is definitely living in the park section.. I dont forsee getting it with a bomb as a possiblity. CRAP!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:33PM
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